Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Pip's Learning Too!!!

Pip loves this wooden shape sorter, she is quite adept at recognising the square and round shapes and corresponding holes:

Pip spent a good ten minutes in quiet concentration and mummy enjoyed early morning peace!!  

A Late Round Up!

Despite whacky BM's Benedict actually achieved quite a lot of work last week, below is our resume of accomplished activities.

Monday 15th -

 Numeracy - Cuisenaire worksheets/number stories using the rods and counting in two's up to the value of 50.

Home Front - Cutting and gluing the base plate for the Anderson Shelter/Garden Model.  Benedict also watched the second instalment of The 1940's House entitled "Women at Work".  Since the Grandad in the programme was "away on important war work", the eldest boy Ben aged ten years, assumed the role of The Head of the House.  The war cabinet asked him to undertake the role of Fuel Warden, he had to calculate the family's fuel usage and reduce consumption as per the guidelines of the day.  The family were only allowed three bucketfuls of coal per day to run the boiler, all lights had to be turned off in rooms not used and each member was only allowed one bath per week of no more than five inches of water.  Benedict was especially keen to undertake such a role in this house, so watch this space!!

Gardening - Planted more seeds and watered the existing seedlings in the mini greenhouse.

Literacy - Benedict has just moved up a band to level seven of The Oxford Reading Scheme, he read the first three books in that series: Red Planet, Lost in the Jungle and The Lost Key.

Tuesday 16th -

Literacy - Read The Broken Roof from The Oxford Reading Scheme and when tested on his spellings knew them all apart from the word "said".

Numeracy - Cuisenaire worksheets on interchanging numerals and rods to make number stories.

Space Odyssey 2010 - We looked at The International Space Station (ISS), we discussed the similarities between the ISS and an ordinary home, what materials are used in the construction of the ISS and why and what work is being carried out on the station.  Using his Space book as a guide Benedict coloured in a printed sheet of the ISS.

Wednesday 17th-

Literacy - Spellings, knew them all apart from "are", read The Motorway from the Oxford Reading Scheme and practised handwriting using the rhyming word sheets.

Numeracy - Two times table using the clock face and printed cards and Cuisenaire worksheets for addition tables and number patterns.  Benedict found looking for a pattern really easy with the rods but found the addition table more challenging when using a number sequence.

Home Front - More work on the Anderson Shelter/Garden model.

Thursday 18th -

Science Meet with the Lancaster and Cumbria Home Ed groups.  Everyone met at the Maritime Museum and representatives from British Energy, Lancaster City Council Library Service and The Sea Life Centre led workshops on Electricity and its generation, Weather and The Solar System and Rock Pool Life.  The activites were enjoyed by all and it was good to meet with other local Home Ed families.

Friday 19th-

We spent the day with the Cumbria Otherwise Group.   After a bring your own lunch the kids and adults settled down to painting miniature canvasses.  We were blessed with lovely weather and Benedict had fun running around with newfound friends.  In fact he had a hypo as a result of all the extra activity!!

Below are sample pictures from the week:

Times Table Clock Face

Cards covering the clock face.

Using the rods in preparation for interchanging rods with numerals in addition tables.

Life in the rock pool.

Inner strengthening supports for the Anderson Shelter.

Using a CD Rom package to design your own car!


Sunday, 14 March 2010

End of Week Round Up

On Thursday Benedict studied Soil Mechanics, he investigated how the internal friction of soil particles contributed towards slope stability.  He also looked into the difference between compaction and consolidation and also the difference between porosity and permeability.

With the help of our friend Fiona he made Mother's Day Cards for the two Nanna's.  They were greatly appreciated:

On Friday we visited Uncle Bernard and Grandad.  We had an indoor picnic which was great:

Enjoying sandwiches, crackers, boiled eggs, cucumber and tomatoes.

We then went to the seaside and collected a variety of rocks for identification.

Benedict feeding the horses.

Uncle Bernard admiring the horses, he was cross because he'd forgotten the mints to give them!


She's Off Again!!!!

You cannot keep this gal down, we are constantly moving furniture!

The box of bricks was duly moved to floor level as was Pip and the bookcase was rotated 90 degrees!  We thought she had been fooled but no, the bookcase in its current position makes an ideal springboard onto the play kitchen!  Ah well back to  the drawing board!   

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Sick Day

With help Benedict managed to plan his drawing of the Anderson Shelter and accompanying vegetable garden.  We talked about the importance of growing your own crops since  the ships were needed for carrying ammunitions and soldiers.  As a result the Dig for Victory campaign began and all householders were encouraged to do their bit for the war effort.  Benedict decided that in his "garden" he would grow, cabbages, carrots, potatoes, onions, swedes, leeks, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber.

After lunch we had intended to put the plan into action and begin constructing the base plate for the model.   Unfortunately a combination of high blood readings as a result of the cold virus left him feeling quite unwell and he ended up in bed for the remainder of the afternoon.

Having the sleep made all the difference and he had brightened sufficiently to help make the currant scones for tea.  Once the evening pots had been cleared Benedict helped put fresh bed linen on his bed and then spent some time working on the Meccano Space Shuttle.  As I write he is now watching a documentary with Dad based on The Solar System.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Tackle it Tuesday

We actually managed to complete all the task on our list today, which
was excellent especially since Benedict has been struggling with a cold
virus and the diabetes has been off whack.  He completed three pages in
the cuisenaire rods workbook, two pages of rhyming words and
handwriting practise, counted in twos up to fifty three times, finished
reading The Dump and watched the first instalment of The 1940's House. 
The programme sparked a whole barrage of questions, thankfully we had
resource books on hand to verify the details.  I had to reassure him
however that what he was watching was pretend and there really was no
need to blackout our house!  This little chap sure has a vivid

Benedict also managed to attend his 45 minute sports session at
enjoy-a-ball.  He has great fun with kids his own age, some much needed
sport activity and his coach Gareth is very understanding with regards
to the diabetes.  I'm just about to google Anderson Shelter! since Sara
has brought home some corrugated card and we are hoping to make a
miniature version of the real thing.  Hopefully there'll be pictures to
post soon.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


The first line dry of the year, how lovely the washing smells when you bring it in!

The first meal outside, hopefully plenty more to follow!  We did wrap up warm but it was just glorious to be in the sunshine.

Here's to Spring! 

Learning All The Time

We've had a busy couple of days.  On Friday we travelled "back home" to see Grandparents and Uncle Bernard.  As part of our trip we visited the Dock Museum and took plenty of pictures.  Benedict was enthralled by the exhibits and one set sparked a long term interest of mum's, the Home Front in the Second World War.  We came home and rooted out a selection of books aswell as the Channel Four recording of The 1940's House, I think we might have hit on our History topic for the next few weeks, Please God!  Here are our pictures of the day:

You can see the reflection of the photographer if you look hard!

Riveted by the riveting gang!!

" Hang out your washing on the Siegfried line!"

"Is your blackout really black?  Have you drawn the curtains?

Here's the warden on the track.

It's better to be certain.

Is your blackout really black?"

Peering inside a reconstructed Anderson shelter

Opposite view.

On Saturday Benedict followed his usual morning routine of watching EWTN kids Faith Factory, he loves The Friar and Hey Lucy!  It was then time for his tap dancing lesson, he's making steady improvements and his dance teacher is very understanding of the diabetes.  After lunch both him and Sara attended the Super Saturday workshop at our local museum.  Benedict learnt about Electromagnetism and produced his own electric current using a magnet and coil.  He received his own certificate signed by M. Farraday himself!!

Once home he helped Dad fill the indoor mini greenhouse with trays of seedlings, so far we have planted: lettuce, tomatoes, peas, peppers, butternut squash, celery and courgettes.

Mum and Benedict watering the seeds.

On Saturday evening we rounded off our day by watching two very informative documentaries, the first was a Chemistry programme looking at Phosphorous, what it is and it's uses, both good and bad.  The second was a social documentary on the Darjeeling Mountain Railway and the study of those relying on the railway for their livelihoods.  With gentle prompting Benedict was able to answer questions on what he had seen and also offered his own interpretation of the items covered in both programmes. 


Thursday, 4 March 2010

A Nature Day

We once again spent a lovely day with Aunty Maureen and Uncle Bryan.  Whilst Daddy and Uncle Bryan were being technical with a new camera.   AM, Benedict, Pip and myself made the most of the sunshine and continued our nature studies.  No pictures I'm afraid as I'd forgot to reload the SD card in the camera, oh dear!!  So you'll have to make do with a narrative!

We saw, 3 Buzzards, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Robin and we heard a very loud Hedge Sparrow, as the name suggests we could not see it as it was hiding in the hedge!  We also saw some very pregnant and very tired looking Ewes... well as a mummy myself I thought they looked very fed up and tired, ah I remember that feeling well!

Looking across to the fells we saw pillars of smoke rising into the blue sky.  Heather was being burnt to make way for new shoots, these in turn would provide food for the Grouse as well as protection for new nest sites.  All part of a delicately balanced eco system, so its no wonder we need to take care of God's good Earth.

Further along we made our way across a rickety, rickety bridge but alas no Trolls!!  We did however learn and discuss the importance of the flood defence system in this area.  If the river rises above a certain level the gates are closed down to the river and the excess water is diverted into man made trenches leading to specially designated open land thus preventing flooding in the town.

On the way home Benedict being a friendly and sociable chap chatted to the Postie on his rounds and a lady weeding her front garden!  We were more than ready for the lunch awaiting us upon our return: Chicken, leek and potato soup, Baked potato and salad followed by stewed apple and ice cream!

On the return journey home we called in at the garden centre and bought an indoor lightweight mini greenhouse which will enable us to get a head start on our planting, thus hopefully allowing us to keep an eye on the seedlings and prevent any pests from dining on them when they are young and tender!!

A very tired looking Benedict proudly displaying his efforts in the building of the frame.  Just minutes before he had suffered another hypo, which is currently his eighth one this week!  He has hypo'd daily since Monday, he is also battling with  a cold virus which doesn't help.  Still as usual he remains cheerful throughout!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A Trip to the Theatre

A trip to our local theatre was on the cards today, Benedict visited this place:

... to see this production:

It was a welcome respite for him since he was still suffering from multiple hypo's, another three yesterday, which is six in 36 hours and therefore an average of one every six hours.   Needless to say his concentration has been zippo.  To further complicate  matters, the cannula site became blocked in the middle of the night and he woke at five this morning with very high blood sugars and feeling sick.  In the end I had to give an emergency injection to bring his readings down.

We had a visit to the hospital today to change our insulin pump for the paradigm veo and whilst we were there he had a really bad hypo, the lowest I've seen him drop and the medical team were totally at a lost as to why it should be happening!  I've reset all the basal rates and am hoping that, things will settle over the course of the next few days.

As I write it is 7:30 pm and he is currently palying with the cuisenaire rods by the fire in the lounge.  He loves working out the problems in the accompanying work book and the added bonus (excusing the pun!) is he's exploring Mathematics at the same time.  

Monday, 1 March 2010

A Megga Hypo Day!

Thankgoodness these days are not regular occurances but Benedict had
three hypos today, two in quick succession and a further one five hours
later.  Considering it takes twenty four hours just to recover from one
hypo and confusion and poor concentration are a side effect from
plummeting blood glucose, we downed tools at 12:30pm today and the
remainder of the day was spent quietly building with lego and duplo.  So
just for the LEA record this day has officially been registered as a
sick day!

Thanks Uncle Bernard!!

A dear Uncle sent some lovely presents for Benedict and Pip.  First up is a Meccano set  model of a Space Shuttle... did a bird tell him I wonder that, we are studying space as a long term project?

Our very own Leo the lion a compadre for Benedict's Lenny.

As it was also the feast day of St David and therefore nameday for Daddy an extra special effort was made with the evening meal:  Baked potatoes, leeks in a cheese sauce and savoy cabbage, followed by apple crumble and custard.  We were also blessed with glorious blue skies that greatly uplifted the soul, thank you God!!   

A Megga Hypo Day

Thankgoodness these days are not regular occurances but Benedict had three hypos today, two in quick succession and a further one five hours later.  Considering it takes twenty four hours just to recover from one hypo and confusion and poor concentration are a side effect from plummeting blood glucose, we downed tools at 12:30pm today and the remainder of the day was spent quietly building with lego and duplo.  So just for the LEA record this day has officially been registered as a sick day!